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Pro User's Guide to Water Reporter
Getting Engagement: Basic User and Contributors Overview
Getting Engagement: Basic User and Contributors Overview

Adding the users who help you monitor your water(shed)

Commons Support avatar
Written by Commons Support
Updated over a week ago

A powerful aspect of Water Reporter is the engagement capabilities for volunteers and contributors. How your basic users interact with the system depends partially on the type of monitoring program that you're putting together and partially on the access that you allow them.


When individuals set up a basic user account, they are invited to join groups during the on-boarding process. This allows the user to share/submit geo-located observations directly to a specific group. The Group Owners will be notified of any posts submitted to their group. These observations also may appear on any maps the group creates of general posts. Basic users who join groups can only perform this function.

If you want to have a basic user submit more information via your data source forms, they need to be given Contributor status by a group account owner.

Once you have your form set up you can start giving non-owners access to the form. Non-owners are referred to as Contributors in Water Reporter. At this time, in order for an individual to access the form he or she will need to:

  1. Create a Water Reporter Basic User Account. - make sure to include a first and last name

  2. Join the Group

From the Contributor Tab, a Group Administrator Owner will then be able to search for the user and add them to the list.

Once an individual is added as a contributor a link to the form will appear on their mobile app and online via the personal dashboard.

You should not add data owners as a contributor. The data source form will automatically appear in the submission option for all Administrative Owners on dashboards and submission panels.


Quality Assurance and Control is important in Water Reporter. Because any data that is submitted into a data source is immediately visible on any publicly embedded maps developed by the Account Owners, it’s important to allow owners an opportunity to review data submitted to their group before it gets shared and published.

The account owners will notice a queue of “Pending Samples” on the Data Source Summary page. These are samples that were submitted by an approved contributor. The Owner will want to click in to the pending sample to certify its authenticity. Once the certification is toggled ‘on’ the sample is fully integrated into the data source. If the Owner wants to change any of the samples, the system will allow those changes to be made here. Any “private” fields also appear in the sample review. For instance, it might be helpful to add a “notes” field that is only viewable to the data owners so that you can record any changes and comments.

If you come across a sample that you don’t want to push into the data source, you can delete it altogether. There will be no log of it in the system, however.


If you want to remove a contributor, you can do so at any time from the Data Source Contributors tab.

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